Likeability Factor #4
How to be Likable to the Folks Who Call your Community “Home”
Our “Likeability Factor” posts have focused on being likable to your rental prospects. Let’s now look at that paying customer who, frankly, is much more important than a prospect. How do you stay likable to your beloved residents?
Start By Liking Your Residents – What is your attitude toward those people who call your community “Home”? Are they someone you strive to serve and provide the best housing possible? Or do residents simply mean PROBLEMS to you and your staff? People like people who like them. It is the way we are all wired. Why would it be different with your residents? To be likable, first show that you like your Residents. Here are some tips:
- Listen More than You Talk – Listening is an art that many of us are still refining. As an onsite apartment professional, you have many hats to wear and tasks to accomplish every day. When a resident calls or visits the office, it is tempting to deal with the “issue” as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next fire. You have heard this before and know exactly how to resolve it, right? Maybe. Yet, what would happen to your likeability with the resident if you said: “Hey, that is a problem. Please have a seat and let me get a bit more information. I think I can help.”
- Greet Residents with a Smile – Whether in the office or on the property, always have time to say “Hello” and greet the prospect. Don’t forget the power of the smile. You get 100 added likeability points if you greet them by name. 200 points if you remember their kids’ names!
- Don’t Assume – Yeah, yeah, I know what happens when you assume. You make an A@! out of u and me. Funny. It is true that when you assume something about a resident and their concerns, you often move too fast and fail to gather the details. You also miss the chance to listen, smile, and care. Residents don’t like it when you assume.
- Do What You Say – You’re Going to Do – One of the fundamentals of good customer service is to be reliable and a truth-teller. It is easy to offer unrealistic solutions in the heat of a difficult resident discussion. All this does is create more grief and resident dissatisfaction. If you can’t meet a resident’s request, let them know you still care and will try to help. “I’m sorry. I can’t do that… but what I CAN do is….”.
- Do it Right the First Time – Not only do you respond and do what you said you would, you do it correctly, completely, and with a smile. This is especially important with service requests. One of the biggest resident complaints is poor maintenance service and follow thru. Maintenance call backs are time-consuming and sometimes discouraging to your service tech. Residents like you when you do it right the first time!
- Care – More than an attitude or nice saying on a plaque in the office CARING is an active pursuit of your residents. Show that you care by your words, smiles, and actions. It is not just about how you feel toward your residents; it is more about how they feel toward you.
Do Your Residents Like You?
If you are not sure about the answer, consider some of the Likeability Tips in this article. If you don’t care about the answer to this question, I’m glad you’re not my onsite representative.